Make-up remover wipes or cotton wool packed into plastic bags or tubes. Single-use, these packets of wipes and cotton wool can be gotten through pretty quickly, especially if you wear make-up every day. Those wipes are often made at least partially out of plastic so they can stay moist for long periods and are packed in plastic too. We already know why plastic is bad, and why single-use plastic is such a nightmare, but what about single-use cotton wool?
Cotton needs an insane amount of water to grow, so by choosing cotton to take off your make-up and then throwing it away immediately, you’ll have wasted a hell of a lot of water for this one simple task. Cotton is also unable to be grown in the UK, as we don’t have the climate for it (despite our weather being able to fulfil the cotton plants' greed for water). Most cotton is grown in places like India, or the US, so it has a high transport carbon footprint too. I have never seen organic cotton wool sold in a shop (although maybe that’s changed now, correct me if I am wrong), but regardless, most of the plastic-packaged cotton wool sold is not made from organic cotton. This means that the cotton wool you have been using to take off your make-up has been grown using lots of pesticides because cotton plants have some voracious pests. These pesticides get into the groundwater, because heavy pesticide use, together with heavy watering leads to pesticide runoff into the soil and water below, poisoning the land, not just the pests. Lots of pesticide usage can be harmful to the human cotton pickers/packers/transporters too, as these pesticides can cause health problems if you breathe a lot in. All in all, a pretty terrible material to be chosen for use as a single-use product.
Also, it can’t just be me that hates the feel of cotton wool? Yuck, it makes me shudder just thinking about it, it’s a touch equivalent of nails down a chalkboard for me, so I would be happy to never see a plastic packet full of cotton wool again!